When Apple announced iChat in 2003, Mac AIM users were enthusiastic: AOL’s own Mac client hadn’t really made the adjustment to OS X, and there was little indication Mac users would be full citizens on AIM any time soon.
Though iChat did a lot to bring feature parity to Mac users, it was a little behind the curve in terms of the interface features people were coming to expect from third party IM clients. Independent developers went to work modifying iChat to include features they’d hoped to see.
Chax, written by Kent Sutherland, is one of the more comprehensive iChat add-ons available, and it has been under steady update since 2005. At first, it offered some interface polish Apple itself hadn’t bothered with: It tweaked the display of buddy names, fixed annoying window placement bugs, made it easier to get at chat logs, and added unread message notification to the iChat dock icon.